Chicken finding it hard to breath

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5 years 4 months ago #544359 by kbri
Hi All,
Both chickens off the lay at the moment and have been for about 6 weeks but they are shedding which I believe is quite normal.

However, one looks like she is having laboured breathing and also quite lethargic and not moving away as I approach her (which is definitely not normal).

I am not sure if this is a simple case of being too hot or something more serious - I have just put some water down which she is drinking.

Other than her comb being slightly darkened there are no other symptoms. I understand the dark comb would signify there is not enough oxygen getting in.

There is no sneezing, no snot, no blood from nares or eyes eyes look okay and she is not gasping for air.

What do you think? Wait a while to see if it passes, take to vets or hate to say euthanize?

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5 years 4 months ago #544363 by Sue
A few more questions.
Is she panting e.g. beak open all the time, or gasping with neck outstretched, sort of gulping- or just breathing heavily but with beak closed?

Eyes shut or open?

Is she sitting hunched up and feathers loose, or standing upright?

The symptoms could be of a number of things, not necessarily respiratory!

She could have an infection, or internal tumour pressing on organs, e.g heart and lungs.

If she is eating and drinking OK just leave her for a couple of days to see if there is any change.

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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5 years 4 months ago #544366 by kbri
She started to get a bit better when I gave her some water - assuming she was just overheating. However, she has gone downhill again. Other chuck headed back to their house. Our ill one stayed put and likely to have stayed there all night. I have just carried her back and placed her in the egg laying area as I dont think she will handle the perch tonight. She is hunched up but breathing with her beak open now. Eyes open but very lethargic. I have a feeling she is not going to last the night :( It has came on oh so sudden. See how she is tomorrow and then I may call the vets.

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5 years 4 months ago #544375 by Sue
Sounds like an infection of some sort or an organ problem.
Because she is drinking I suspect perhaps kidneys. You could try some electolytes in the water for her- the human type diluted would do. Not a lot else you could do unless what the problem is can be disgnosed. Vet may or may not be able to help- an expensive process, especially if they too are not used to chicken ailments.

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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5 years 4 months ago #544376 by Mudlerk
kbri, vets for sick chooks is going to get very expensive. If you can face it, dig a hole and spend 25 dollars on a replacement point-of-lay hen.

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5 years 4 months ago #544378 by kbri
Well chook was alive this morning but still in the nesting area. Carried it to under our fig tree and put some food and water next to her. Will see how she progresses and if things get worse will euthanize. I don't think our local vet (from previous experience) is chicken savvy.

Will look into electrolytes too. Will keep you posted.

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5 years 4 months ago #544425 by kbri
Just an update. Chicken still alive. Had been reading up on cervical dislocation until yesterday when she started to perk up - by perk up, I mean actually start moving about. Frond is still drooped but lighter in colour and she no longer has laboured breathing.

During the week kept it hydrated and ended up (on advice) giving it a high dose of moxidectin for suspected gape worm (although other chook unaffected but got a lower dose too). Will be repeating this in 10 days.

Interestingly, the better half found a half chewed advocado seed in our garden (??), which I believe is very toxic to chooks. The only way I can imagine it got there given its size is maybe a possum fished it out of our compost bin and dropped it enroute - who knows.

Anyways, both chooks keeping in the shade and not moving much at all - probably the heat. Neither laying eggs but I think they are past it now. I suppose the question is can we get 3-4 pullets in and expect these old birds to provide a warm welcome - I suspect only if I want world war 3 on my hands - LOL. What do you guys think?

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5 years 4 months ago - 5 years 4 months ago #544427 by Stikkibeek
The older girls will try to defend their territory and that might be to the detriment of the unwell one. You can ease new ones in ok if you have a place where you can put the new ones, such as a pen within a pen, where they can see one another but not reach each other. leave the new ones in the pen for about a week and feed both groups close to each other. Then let the new ones out after feeding one day. Young pullets will usually be subservient anyway but you may still get some scuffles, They will usually settle down once pecking order is established.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S
Last edit: 5 years 4 months ago by Stikkibeek.
The following user(s) said Thank You: kbri

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5 years 4 months ago #544428 by Sue
Glad to hear she is still alive.
I just looked up to see the avocado problem, yes it is due to Persin in the skins and the seeds. They are OK to eat the flesh. If something had gnawed into the seed to leave access for the beaked ones then that is how they can be affected. Evidently the toxin-Persin- intereferes with cardiac function/ heart failure.

Hopefully the treatment and/or the effects continue to work and she makes a full recovery.

Yes, as SB has mentioned , you may need to introduce any new ones carefully!

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.
The following user(s) said Thank You: kbri

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5 years 4 months ago #544429 by kbri
So we have one chicken house inside the pen which is probably 50 sq metres at a guess, would we need to get a second chicken house?

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5 years 4 months ago #544431 by Sue
It really depnds how many chickens you intend getting and how many you already have.

It is actually a good idea healthwise to not put new birds with old straight away as you may be introducing a new set of diseases, or your new pullets are thrown in the deep end with whatever is affecting your old girls or what they are now immune to!

If they are not laying and you can fence off a small corner for them with a shelter and shade with their own food dish for a a week or two that would be enough and then just let them run together.

Be sure that there are places where they can get away from each other-like higher perches, bushes, branches or even just some pallets propped against a wall.

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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5 years 4 months ago #544441 by kate28
what about gape worm?

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5 years 4 months ago #544443 by kbri
Treated for that. See several messages previous. :)

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5 years 4 months ago #544459 by kbri
Hi All,
After our chook going downhill today and the other chook not looking that well either we took the decision to euthanise both of them.

Decided to do a necropsy on both, fearful that whatever it was was viral. Most notable observations that may shed some light - and hoping you can share some insight:

Abdomens filled - I mean filled to bursting of yellowy orange fluid - did not smell bad
Most internal organs encrusted with white nodules.

I have more info and dare I say photos but did not want to thrust too much information onto the forums readers at this stage.

Any ideas?

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5 years 4 months ago #544460 by kbri
Marek's Disease?

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